BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
The interactive and electric vibe from cocktails to the after-party featuring a 75-minute set by the legendary Temptations meant that the Board of Trustees of the Art Institute’s Masterpiece 19 gala met co-chair Stephanie Harris’s aim to “have people leave thinking they have seen or experienced something they never had before.”
Harris, along with other gala co-chairs Andrea and Jim Gordon, Nancy and E. Scott Santi, and her husband, John Harris, had invited guests to “knock yourself out” in their choice of attire, and a knockout was surely every guest’s description of the experiences surrounding them that night.
Interactive food displays—from grab and go poke containers, acrylic candelabras dangling with mixed flatbreads, to gazpacho-filled test tube shooters—greeted guests in Modern Wing’s Griffin Court, where local artists had created large scale canvases that stood behind each bar running down the center of soaring court.
A special surprise performance by the Chicago Children’s Choir signaled the conclusion of the reception, and guests went out into the starry night to a magnificent tent on the south promenade of Millennium Park popping with shades of acrylic orange reflected off mirrored table tops.
A menu of chilled sweet pea soup and beef tenderloin energized guests for non-stop dancing to the iconic “My Girl,” “Too Proud to Beg,” and “Treat Her Like a Lady”—the Temptations have known all about being experiential since they began their Motown magic in the 1960s.
Following dinner, guests headed to the after-party (also in the tent) for passed sweets and coffee, including a fun affogato station, and dancing.
From its bright colors to exuberant energy, Masterpiece 2019 was a perfectly composed work of art, from start to rousing finish.
Photo credit: Mark Campbell Productions